Start with the assumption that your neighbor doesn’t realize their smoke is flooding your apartment/condo/co-op unit. Kindly ask them to step outside when smoking. If they mention trying to quit, let them know that the CDC offers free quit support if they call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit smokefree.gov.
If your neighbor is not responsive to your appeal, ask your building management for help. There is NO legal “right to smoke,” nor any safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke for you, your family, or your pets. We’ve created a flyer you can post in your community or ask your building management to share with all residents.
Globally, secondhand smoke kills 600,000 people a year. In the U.S., secondhand smoke kills 41,000 people a year. You are not wrong in your desire to breathe clean, fresh air in your home.
You do have rights. ASH works with the Public Health Law Center (previously Tobacco Control Legal Consortium) which has produced an excellent summary of your rights and how to exercise them. You can also contact the Tenant Advocate Office for your specific city or state; they will have the most accurate information on your particular situation.
- California Tenant Advocate Guide to Addressing Secondhand Smoke
- Resource Toolkit from Salud America!>
- 2021 research adding oral cancer to the risks associated with secondhand smoke exposure: research here> article discussing it>
- Smoke-free Housing Indiana
- Building Success.
- American Lung Association